2 Timothy 3:14-17: Continuing in the Truth
For our new year’s meditation I want to direct you to 2 Timothy 3:14-17. Firstly appreciate the context: Paul warns Timothy about a massive turning away from the truth, v1-7,
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
These descriptions sound just like what we are seeing today. But Paul then reminds Timothy of his good practice in contrast to those who have turned away. In v10-11 he talks about how Timothy has properly followed Paul as he has followed Christ, in v12 he reminds Timothy of this truism that all who seek to live a godly life in Christ Jesus are in the minority and will suffer persecution suffering ridicule, rejection and more violent treatment. V13 describes the compounding nature of the problem, ‘while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.’ The immorality gains critical mass, and the deceptions pick up supporters along the way. V14-17 are Paul’s encouragements in how to stay true to the truth. We will be looking at this section under three headings, hold to the word, what is the word?, and the sufficiency of the word.